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Cat in the Stax: Children’s Book Week

This week marks the first of two Children’s Book Weeks in 2021. For the last three years, it has been celebrated twice a yearonce in the spring, in May, and again in the fall, in November. Starting in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest running national literacy initiative, bringing together authors, publishers, booksellers, libraries, and, most importantly, young readers. 

Cat in the Stax, Jenna Newman, got started on reading at a very young age

Reading has always been a huge part of my life and, especially, my childhood. Whether it was relating to the elementary school woes of Junie B. Jones or traveling around the world in a treehouse with Jack and Annie, curling up with a book has always been a favorite pastime. Beyond generating fond memories, the reading you did as a child is crucial in developing your values, enhancing your imagination, and helping you learn resilience at a young age. 

Our reading time may be made up of more research articles and textbooks than 100-page chapter books, but we can still jump in and celebrate Children’s Book Week this year and every year!

  • Take a break, read a throwback: Sometimes, especially during finals, you just need that sense of accomplishment of completing a task, but also final exams and papers keep you from starting a new side project. Try taking a break and picking up a favorite childhood book to read. It’ll rest your mind from academics and when you finish it in an hour, you’ll feel accomplished.
  • Share a book with a young reader: With the semester coming to a close, maybe you’re heading home to a younger sibling or have a babysitting job lined up for the summer. Do some research and share a book, whether a classic or something new, with a young reader. A kid is never too young to start to enjoy reading. 
  • Join in the celebrations: Check out Every Child’s a Reader’s website to see ways you can get involved in Children’s Book Week. The website also has Superpower Book Lists so you can help young readers in your life find the perfect new book when you get home for the summer.


Fun Fact: Falvey has The Boxcar Children, Books 1-13 available digitally for some perfect throwback reading!


jenna newman headshotJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

 

 

 


 


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TBT: Villanova Jazz Festival

April is a full month with many exciting events and activities, including National Jazz Month. Put on your favorite Jazz playlist and take a look through the 1965 Intercollegiate Jazz Festival Program in Falvey’s digital collection. 1965 marked the 5th annual jazz festival – an opportunity for college jazz ensembles to compete and share musical experiences with one another. In addition, many years students also had an opportunity to learn from noted jazz musicians across the country.

The photo is the cover of the 1965 Villanova Jazz Festival Program.


jenna newman headshotJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Cat in the Stax: National Parks Week

Not only is next week Earth Week, but it’s also National Parks Week, so get ready for a list of ways you can celebrate both the earth and our parks, whether it’s through picking up a new book to read or finding time to get outside and enjoy nature.

Activities to Celebrate 

Villanova is lucky enough to be situated only 15 minutes from one of Pennsylvania’s national parks—Valley Forge National Park. This week or weekend get together a group of your close friends, find someone with a car and make the drive over to Valley Forge to walk around and enjoy nature. Not only is this a great way to celebrate National Parks, but it also lets you get outside, clear your head and refocus for all of the end of semester studying and papers that lie ahead. 

Villanova has a wide variety of Earth Week events going on, some of them starting as early as this week, and all of them are worth attending; however, I wanted to highlight another event that gets you outside and looking at nature, even if it’s not at a National Park. Next Thursday, April 22, Villanova’s horticulturist, Hugh Weldon will be leading a tour of the trees around campus. More details and registration can be found here.

Books to Read 

The Falvey collection has a wide range of National Parks Travel Guides that you can reserve and pick up. The collection has guides for everything you need to know for parks from Shenandoah National Park to Glacier National Park. With only a month left of the semester, now is the perfect time to grab some guide books and start planning a summer road trip to a National Park near or far!

Fun Fact: Did you know each day of National Parks Week has its own theme?

The National Park Service website has a list with themes for each day of National Park week as well as other ideas for you to celebrate. Below are the themes for each day.

April 17 – Park Rx Day

April 18 – VIP (Volunteers In Parks) Sunday

April 19 – Military Monday

April 20 – Transformation Tuesday

April 21 – Wayback Wednesday

April 22 – Earth Day

April 23 – Friendship Friday

April 24 – Junior Ranger Day

April 25 – BARK Ranger Day

Let us know how you plan on celebrating both Earth Week and National Parks Week next week!


jenna newman headshotJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

 

 

 


 


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TBT: Dorm Life

The dorm is the first home away from home for many college students and a place that you can really make your own over the course of a semester. Whether that’s decorating with posters or bringing your favorite blanket or pillow from home, it’s those little comfort items that really make it homey. Check out this throwback picture from the 1968 Belle Air looking at the “cinder block bag of potpourri” – the dorm room.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Cat in the Stax: National Library Week

We’re officially halfway through National Library Week! There’s something about libraries that sticks with you throughout life, whether it’s memories of getting your first ever library card or late nights spent writing papers and studying for exams. For this week’s Cat in the Stax I’m going to reminisce on some of my favorite library memories and factors that make a great library.

My first library card was from the Mercer County Library, and I remember practicing writing my name over and over again because my mom said once I could write my own name, I could get my library card. Despite having not been there in over 10 years, I can still distinctly remember where everything is located. Every summer they would always have different events for elementary students that promoted reading and learning. One factor that makes a great library is the variety of programming and events that they have available, whether in-person or virtual!

During my undergraduate years, I spent quite a bit of time at the University of Delaware’s Morris Library. My four years there included many late night study sessions and trying to snag the best study spots between classes. Another mark of a quality library is definitely study spots and study rooms. My roommate and I would always meet up in our pre-booked study room after classes to study before heading back to our apartment!

Maybe I’m a little biased, but my favorite library right now is definitely Falvey! Beyond the extensive programming and study spots, Falvey also has an amazing group of staff and librarians that are always willing to help with papers and research projects. Plus, having Holy Grounds there to get a mid-study caffeine fix has become a deal-breaker for me as far as study spots go. Make sure to head over to Falvey sometime this week to celebrate National Library Week and let us know what you think makes a great library on social media or in the comments!


jenna newman headshotJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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TBT: National Library Worker’s Day

National Library Worker’s Day is next Tuesday, April 6. As a way to show appreciation for those who work and have worked in Falvey, here’s a throwback picture of Librarian Rev. Louis A. Rongione, OSA, overseeing work on a library project from the 1968 Belle Air. That same year, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for library expansion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


jenna newman headshotJenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

 

 

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: St. Patrick’s Day

By Jenna Newman

I hope you’re rocking your green today because it’s St. Patrick’s Day! This week I wanted to dive deeper into the history of St. Patrick’s Day and answer some FAQs about St. Patrick’s Day and typical ways of celebrating.

Who was St. Patrick? Saint Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland and its national apostle. He was brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16, but later escaped. Later, he returned to Ireland and is thought to have brought Christianity to Ireland.

When did people start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Since the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been celebrating the feast day of St. Patrick on March 17; however, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade actually took place in the United States! Records show that in 1601 there was a parade in the Spanish colony that is now St. Augustine, Florida. In 1772, homesick Irish soldiers in the English militia marched in New York City to honor the saint – celebrations have only grown from there!

What’s the significance of shamrocks? One of the most told legends regarding St. Patrick is that he used a three-leaf Irish clover (a shamrock!) to explain the Holy Trinity to the Irish people when he brought Christianity to the country. 

What do leprechauns have to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Legends of leprechauns and their pots of gold at the end of rainbows go back centuries, although it was more recently that they became tied to St. Patrick’s Day. One theory has to do with a movie Walt Disney released in 1959 called Darby O’Gill and the Little People, which was about an old Irish man and his experiences with magical leprechauns. This movie became increasingly popular in the United States right around the time that celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day also were becoming more popular. Since St. Patrick’s Day is about celebrating Irish culture and leprechauns are a large part of Irish folklore, the connection is fitting. 

Why do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? It all has to do with the leprechauns! Leprechauns are known for their trickery and supposedly pinch everyone they come across. But, leprechauns also cannot see the color green, so we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day to avoid being pinched! Green is also one of the prominent colors in the Irish flag.

As part of your celebrations, I encourage you to take a deeper look into one of Falvey’s digital exhibits, Rambles, Sketches, Tours: Travellers & Tourism in Ireland. This exhibit highlights Irish travel narratives and related materials, primarily from the Joseph McGarrity Collection, in Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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TBT: Old Falvey Reading Room

As we officially head into March and the temperature starts to pick up (at least a couple degrees!), it seems as though our coursework does as well. For this week’s TBT we travel to the 1960s and the Falvey Hall Reading Room. Falvey still offers great study spaces 60 years later, so make sure to come in and find the perfect spot to get your work done. 

This photograph comes from the University Archives and can be found in Villanova’s digital collection.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Cat in the Stax: Books & Board Games – Seven Perfect Pairings

Some people pair peanut butter and jelly, others pair wine and cheese, but in my opinion the perfect pairing is books and board games. Taking some time curled up with a good book and then meeting up with close friends and family in the evening to play a tabletop game constitutes a perfectly relaxing day. Below, I paired books and games together for a variety of different interests!

If you like pirates… you should read Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates by Eric Jay Dolin and you should play Pirate’s Cove.

If you like zombies… you should read Zone One by Colson Whitehead and you should play Dead of Winter.

If you like spies and espionage… you should read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré and you should play Code Names.

If you like vampires… you should read My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due and play Fury of Dracula.

If you like the woods… you should read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and you should play Parks.

If you like classic adventure… you should read On The Road by Jack Kerouac and you should play Ticket to Ride.

If you like horror… you should read The Shining by Stephen King and you should play Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

Can you think of any other book and board game pairings I missed?


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Global Smackdown: Al-Hol Syria – Wives of ISIS

“This is a serious problem that is showing some real cracks, not only in the global refugee system that we have, but also individual countries are not finding ways to repatriate these women… so the children that are attached to these women are suffering the most.”

This week on Dr. Tim Horner’s Global Smackdown he looks at the global refugee system by focusing on two key cases stemming from women at Al-Hol, a housing camp for women and children from ISIS in Syria. Horner looks at international responses to these appeals for repatriation and explores the potential outcomes if the West does not reevaluate their system. 

The full Global Smackdown for Monday, March 1 is available here.

Where in the world are we?


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Last Modified: March 1, 2021